I often refer to January, February, and March as “museum season” in Boston because the weather is so inhospitable. So I’m using this post to give a shout out to some of Boston’s local museums, and I hope you’ll consider visiting one or more of these places.
Harvard Art Museums Several years ago Harvard University combined their art collections in the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler Museums into one museum to highlight their unique collections and exhibits.
Museum Tip: Cambridge residents and students can visit this museum for free.
Institute of Contemporary Art The ICA’s dynamic visual arts program features major thematic exhibitions, surveys of leading contemporary artists, and new commissions, as well as emerging artists. This a smaller musuem that is easy to visit and see in an hour if time is at a premium.
Museum Tip: Free entry provided on Thursdays from 5-9PM (but must reserve your timed ticket which are available starting at 10AM each Thursday).
Isabella Stewart Gardner Perhaps my favorite museum to visit (esp in the winter). It is the only place I am aware of that allows you to see (and yes even smell) grass. A tiny square of grass grows on the ground floor of the Venetian courtyard that is surrounded by Isabella’s extensive art collection.
Museum Tip: Anyone named Isabella can visit the museum for free.
Museum of African American History Comprised of the African Meeting House and Abiel Smith School, this is one of Boston’s smaller museums but one of the more emotional. It opened in in 1963 – the same year Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Museum Tip: Take the free Black Heritage Trail® walking tour. More information here.
Museum of Fine Art Boston Boston’s largest museum houses a wide range of permanent collections from ancient civilizations to Japanese art and even an impressive contemporary art collection. This is a great local museum to spend a few hours.
Museum Tip: University students, active duty military, and veterans have free general admission. Military and veterans can also bring up to five guests.
Boston area museums don’t exclusively focus on art and history if that isn’t your thing. While most of the museums above focus on art and history, there are other options ranging from the politically-minded John F. Kennedy Presidential Library to the Museum of Science to Boston’s Sports Museum just to name a few. Pick a favorite and make a plan to visit one.
Final Museum Tip: If you have a Boston Public Library card, you can reserve (at no cost) free museum passes to many museums in the area. For more information visit BPL Museum Passes.